Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe

Former France left-back Patrice Evra has named two players for the Les Blues who have massively stepped up in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup than their usual hero Kylian Mbappe. The PSG superstar is the joint top-scorer at the tournament so far having scored 3 goals in 3 games, but Evra feels this time, his teammates Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann are pulling the strings more often for the defending champions.

Kylian Mbappe was the center to France’s triumph in 2018, and was expected to light up the tournament this time around as well. While he is continuing his usual exploits in Qatar, Dembele is evidently the x-factor for the Les Blues who is ripping up the opponents on the flanks. Moreover, this a complete different Dembele from the previous versions, who spent more time in the hospital than the football pitch. And while he deserved all the praise for his display for France at the tournament so far, Evra has just done the same.

Kylian Mbappe
Patrice Evra feels Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann are stepping up more than Kylian Mbappe in Qatar. Credits: Twitter

Dembele is doing more than Kylian Mbappe – Evra

Dembele has endured a very difficult past 12 months with his club employers Barcelona. Be it his contract situation  or the recurring injuries. His contract extension stand-off with Barca almost arrived at a point where the club ordered him to leave in January earlier this year, than go as a free agent in the summer. However, he answered his critics on the pitch, making a stellar comeback from a hamstring injury to end the last season with 13 assists and a goal in 21 La Liga games.

The 25-year-old further developed a close relationship with Xavi, who he has credited for his revival at the Catalan club. Barcelona and Dembele finally got along, as he penned a two-year extension at the club, and talks are already underway to hand him a new deal after the ongoing World Cup. Dembele is once again looking sharp for Didier Deschamps’ team after he was literally during their 2018 triumph as well. Speaking to BetFair Evra outlined Demebel’s importance to the France team as he said:

“Ousmane Dembele is doing more than Kylian Mbappe. Dembele is destroying every full-back. For me, he’s the player of the tournament for France so far. I’ve been impressed with Antoine Griezmann. He’s been a key player. Mbappe, I’m not surprised by him. He’s breaking records, he’s already on three goals. But Dembele is a threat every minute. Every time he’s got the ball, he’s been a threat. That’s the player I hope stays fit, because he’s France’s most threatening player.”

Kylian Mbappe
The former France left-back had special praise for Dembele who is indeed looking more electrifying than Kylian Mbappe. Credits: Twitter

Evra further added that he is seeing a different Antoine Griezmann too as compared from the 2018 edition. The former Manchester United player feels Griezmann is trying to fill up the void created by the absence of France’s key midfielder N’Golo Kante who missed the tournament due to injury, alongside Paul Pogba. Evra continued:

“The key player for me is [Antoine] Griezmann right now. He’s tackling like N’Golo Kante. I know Griezmann, he’s not the type of player you’d see doing those things. The game against Denmark, I was like, ‘wow’. He was like the boss, he was the maestro. He didn’t get enough credit. People were talking about Mbappe because he scored twice, but Griezmann was everywhere. He was running back, tackling, he had composure on the ball, playing with his head, he was really intelligent. So for me, Griezmann is the key player for France.”

Despite a number of key players absent for France in Kante, Pogba, Benzema, Nkunku and Lucas Hernandez, the two-time world champions are keeping it going at the tournament. Although they suffered a shock defeat in their penultimate group stage game against Tunisia, France are already through to the last-16 where they face Robert Lewandowski’s Poland on December 4.